The Richmond Register


November 9, 2012

Theater teacher’s new job at MSHS is full of firsts

BEREA — Students filed into the Madison Southern High School auditorium Thursday morning and jumped right into rehearsal for their upcoming production, “Acting Out.”

“This is what we’re working on today — projection, projection, projection,” said the new theater director Rebecca Tomlin, who on Saturday was named the Kentucky Theatre Association’s Teacher of the Year at the 41th Annual KTA Statewide Conference in Lexington.

That morning, students were rehearsing a comedic satire promoting a fictitious product called the Script Cleaner 5000 that promised to “clean up” any script that would otherwise not be appropriate for a high school stage.

Tomlin usually directed from the floor in front of the stage. But in the next moment she would be in the spotlight, pretending to sword fight with a student during a Shakespeare scene or teaching them how to really yell at somebody.

“Just let him have it, because this scene is usually full of the ‘F-word,’” Tomlin told one student who was acting out the clean version of one expletive-ridden scene.

The hour-long class was relaxed and full of laughter, with a healthy exchange of direction and dialogue between Tomlin and her students.

The educator of 14 years was taken by surprise when she was called for the award at the Lexington conference, she said. This was her first year teaching at Southern.

“I was shocked that the kids nominated me. I hadn’t been with them for very long,” she said.

But if she was to speculate about why the students nominated her, Tomlin knows “there is a mutual respect between me and my students,” she said. “They always know where I stand and they know the purpose of any criticism is to help them grow.”

This was the first year a MSHS class participated in a KTA conference. Senior Emma Heid, 17, was chosen to be on the KTA All-Star Cast, which is the “best of the best performers,” Tomlin said.

At the conference, Southern’s Advanced Acting class performed a piece about teen suicide called “A Moment in Time,” an award-winning play written by Eddie Kennedy, former theater teacher at Berea Community School and owner of the Berea Arena Theater.

Tomlin also volunteers at the Berea Arena Theater, where she recently had a role in the female version of the “Odd Couple.”

She also is the assistant director and stage manager for “The Shadow Box,” a production to benefit Hospice Care Plus. The performance is scheduled Nov. 16 and 17 at the Black Box Theater in EKU’s Center for the Arts (visit for details).

Another first for Southern students is participation in The Cappies, “Critics and Awards Program” through which high school theatre and journalism students are trained as critics, attend shows at other schools, write reviews and publish those reviews in local newspapers, according to the Cappies website.

At the end of the year, the student critics vote for awards that are presented at a formal Cappies Gala — “just like the Tony Awards, only with high school students,” Tomlin said.  

The 56 students in her Musical Theatre class will perform “Back to the 80’s: The Totally Awesome Musical” as their Cappies entry, she said.   

Tomlin also chartered a troupe for the International Thespian Society, in which seven students were inducted.

These seven students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, log at least 100 hours of theater work (70 in school and 30 in the community), have experience on-stage and backstage and “just be a well-rounded theater person,” Tomlin said.

Tomlin has really enjoyed her time working in Madison County, she said, where she teaches three jam-packed theater courses. At Garrard County High School where she was an English and Theater teacher for nine years, she taught one theater course.

“Both students and teachers have been extremely receptive — I have a lot of support from administration,” she said. “I’m grateful for the people I’ve worked with at Madison Southern.”

Tomlin’s three classes are “constantly in production,” she said. The next show, “Acting Out,” is a compilation from all three of her classes and will feature a Broadway review, two short comedies and the KTA entry “A Moment in Time.”

The performance is scheduled for Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. at the MSHS auditorium.

The cost of admission is $5.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.

Text Only
  • Kitcarson1.jpg Elementary schools built in ‘60s getting upgrades

    Renovation of three Madison County elementary schools built in Richmond during the 1960s will start this summer.
    The county school board voted Thursday to continue with the second phase of state paperwork required for the projects.
    With a target completion date of August 2015, renovations and alterations at Daniel Boone, Kit Carson and White Hall elementary schools are estimated to cost almost $12 million.

    April 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • May 30 last school day for students

    After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 TechExtra1.jpg Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza

    Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.

    April 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-19 SchoolBoardJesseWard.jpg Ward honored for service; tech center named after him

    Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-16 CMMShealthfair5.jpg Health fairs cover contemporary teenage topics

    Berea Community High School health students coordinated their first all-day health fair in November that was catered to elementary students.

    But their spring fair Monday handled more mature issues that targeted the middle and high school crowd, said health teacher Cathy Jones.

    April 16, 2014 13 Photos

  • Regents approve smoke-free campus policy

    The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents on Monday approved a tobacco-free campus policy and set 2014-15 rates for tuition, housing and meal plans.

    Effective June 1, the use of tobacco on all property that is owned, leased, occupied or controlled by the university will be prohibited.

    April 14, 2014

  • 4-10 EKUDanceTheatre1.jpg EKU Dance Theatre tonight

    Performances are 8 p.m. tonight, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building.
    Tickets are available at the Whitlock Building ticket window or by calling 622-2171 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.
    Tickets are $5 for students, $10 general admission and free for children under the age of 12. Tickets also may be purchased at the door.
    This semester’s concert offers a variety of dance forms including modern/contemporary, hip hop, Middle Eastern, musical theater and Latin jazz.

    April 10, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-11 ChildAbusePrevPinwheels.jpg Pinwheels for prevention

    Madison Central High School CIA, or Central in Action club, placed 473 silver and blue pinwheels in the flower beds in front of the school, each representing a substantiated child abuse case reported in Madison County in 2013 to show support for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-10 TibetanMonks1.jpg Tibetan monks provide week of cultural experiences

    Berea College has had a special relationship with the Tibetan government-in-exile dating back to the 1990s. That is when the late John Stephenson, then Berea’s president, befriended the Dalai Lama, the Buddhist spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, according to Jeff Richey, chair of Asian Studies at the college.

    April 10, 2014 13 Photos

  • 4-10 RedCedar4.jpg Open for learning

    While some may not have known all of the words or the exact notes to sing, parents and children in the Red Cedar Learning Cooperative enjoyed an afternoon jam session together Tuesday, complete with guitars, a ukulele, drums and a harmonica.

    April 9, 2014 13 Photos

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

     View Results